Very little needs to be said about England’s win against South Africa that hasn’t been said already. It was an incredible display of some of the finest attacking batting that the Twenty20 game has seen. The star of the show however, was undoubtedly Joe Root, who once again showed why he is one of the best players in the world.
A chase of 230 in a Twenty20 match looked near impossible, and despite a destructive 43 off just 16 balls from Jason Roy, England never seemed to look like making 230 until Root got going. His 83 off just 44 balls will be remembered as one of England’s finest in Twenty20 cricket, and was just another example of the tremendous talent that the Yorkshire man possesses.
It continues a quite incredible couple of years for Root that has seen him spend time as the number one batsman in the world according to the ICC World Rankings. Very few players have had the same influence on teams that Root has, regularly coming up with runs at the big time for England, most notably with his brilliant hundred at Cardiff in the first Ashes test against Australia in July.
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To have the ability to score runs in all forms in the game in a rare talent these days, because the difference between one-day cricket and test match cricket has increased so much. Root seems to have mastered all forms of the game, making nine hundreds in test matches, eight in ODIs, and of course his brilliant innings against South Africa in the Twenty20 on Friday.
AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli seem to be the only players worldwide who can come anywhere close to Root in terms of performances in every form of the game. Both of them consistently make big runs for their respective countries, and Root’s form over the last two years certainly puts him in the same category of world-class players as them.
Root has achieved all this by the age of just 25, so can only get better in the coming years, and could definitely become one of the all-time greats of English cricket. In the short term however, if Root can keep up his form, he could certainly lead England to the World Twenty20 crown.